Slides from the January 18 Seattle Police Department’s SeaStat meeting provide information about 2016 crime in the city.
Overall, crime was slightly up (by 1.44%) last year compared to 2015. Reported rapes increased by 56% between 2015 and 2016 while homicides decreased by 25%.
The graph below breaks out crime by precinct. The North Precinct is the largest with 40% of the Seattle population living here and encompassing all of the land north of Ship Canal.
In the North Precinct, overall crime increased by 4% between 2015 and 2016. With 43 reported in 2016, rape increased by 34% north of the Ship Canal. Homicides were down 33% with 2 occurring in the north end last year.
During the January 4 SeaStat meeting, information about the city’s changing population was shared. The slide below shows how large the North Precinct (the grey line) is compared to the others and that its population grew by 11% over the past 6 years.
As the data above show, car prowls are a problem citywide. Visit SPD’s crime prevention page to lean how to prevent car prowls.
In September, the RBCA board adopted a mobility safety action plan that identified advocacy for safety improvements to NE 65th Street as our top priority. This was our rationale: NE 65th Street has been identified as one of the most dangerous streets in the city. Over the last three years, 68 people have been hospitalized after crashes on NE 65th Street between 5th and 35th Avenues. One person died. Injuries were sustained by motorists, bikers, and pedestrians.
Since then, 3 people crossing NE 65th Street in crosswalks have been struck by motorists. One person died and 2 were sent to the hospital with critical injuries. Every month, multiple collisions between motorists are reported on NE 65th Street.
The Seattle Department of Transportation (SDOT) has heard our concerns and is now starting a process for identifying specific safety problems, developing a plan for addressing them, gaining community input about those plans, and implementing final plans between next fall and 2019. In partnership with the Roosevelt Neighborhood Association, they are hosting a public meeting on Tuesday, February 28, 6:00 p.m. at Roosevelt High School to talk with neighbors about safety concerns.
Last week, members of the #Fix65th coalition, including members of the RBCA board, put our heads together to come up with some possible quick changes that could be done this year, as SDOT prepares for road design changes that require more planning. In the comments section, please share your thoughts about each of these ideas.
Remove peak hour parking restrictions. Currently, no parking is allowed on westbound NE 65th Street during peak hours in the morning and no parking is allowed on eastbound NE 65th Street during peak hours in the afternoon. By removing these restrictions, more parking would become available in our business districts and, at the same time, the road would be narrowed, reducing motor vehicle speeds. Reducing speeds is a research-based strategy for reducing pedestrian – motorist collisions.
Change speed limit to 25 mph. In addition to changing parking rules, SDOT could change the speed limit on the road to 25 miles per hour. With 2 busy business districts and the location of Roosevelt High School, this may make most sense between I-5/Ravenna Blvd and 25th Avenue NE.
Install curb bulbs and posts at some corners. Curb bulbs extend the sidewalk into the street, reducing the time and distance it takes a pedestrian to cross. Curb bulbs can also prevent drivers from parking in front of crosswalks or blocking curb ramps. The visibility between drivers and pedestrians is also improved with curb bulbs because pedestrians are brought farther out into the street, making crossing locations more recognizable.
Following are a few drawings to help imagine what curb bulbs could look like at certain intersections. Photos of low-cost curb bulbs appear at the end of this post.
NE 65th Street & 15th Avenue NE
This intersection is of particular concern because of the number of students who cross here to get to Roosevelt High School, the multiple bus stops on both streets, a significant increase in housing in the area within the next few years, and the width of the roads. The drawing above includes curb bulbs in green as well as dedicated left turn lanes on NE 65th Street.
NE 65th Street & 20th Avenue NE
The intersection at 20th Avenue NE is of particular concern because it is the gateway to the Ravenna business district, many bikers use 20th to access the ravine footbridge, and because of shortened sightlines due to the hill. Anyone who has been following #Fix65th on Twitter has seen multiple videos of children trying to use the crosswalk on their way to school and being blocked by motorists making right turns while the light is red. Curb bulbs could shorten the cross and help motorists see pedestrians. Prohibiting right turns on red could keep motorists from blocking crosswalks.
NE 65th Street & Ravenna Avenue NE
Bisecting the Ravenna business district, Ravenna Avenue NE is an important spot for pedestrian safety improvements. Pedestrians coming from the ravine, accessing local businesses, and going to the community center all use this intersection.
Create dedicated left turn lanes. The diagram (above) of the intersection with 15th Avenue includes dedicated left turn lanes. Lanes like this could also help the intersection with 25th Avenue NE.
The intersection with 25th Avenue NE is an especially busy one since it leads to University Village, the Montlake Bridge, and SR 520. While traffic lights for people driving north and south include turn arrows, people driving east and west often get stuck behind drivers making left turns. This often leads to driver frustration and angry driving behaviors. Left turn only lanes both east and westbound could help traffic flow more efficiently and safely.
Make improvements to traffic signals. At NE Ravenna Blvd, where many motorists access I-5, where many bikers take advantage of the protected bike lanes, and where many pedestrians catch buses, signal improvements could be made including the elimination of left turn flashing yellow arrows and inclusion of dedicated pedestrian walk signals. For better traffic flow, adding a left turn only lane could help.
Install flashing crosswalk beacons. All along NE 65th Street, flashing beacons on either side of the road that are turned on when a pedestrian pushes a button could be used to increase motorist’s awareness of pedestrians trying to cross the road. Many motorists report that they are not aware of people waiting to cross the street and flashing beacons could help.
What are your thoughts for making NE 65th Street safer for everyone who uses it? Leave comments below and attend the community meeting on the 28th. Have your voice heard!
Two examples of low-cost curb bulbs that are created with some paint, street markings, and posts. If they don’t improve safety, these bulbs can easily be removed.
Concerned with University Village’s initial design proposal for a new garage along 25th Avenue NE, the RBCA board provided comments to the Seattle Design Review Board in December.
In a follow-up memo, the Design Review Board provided the following guidance to University Village.
1. Theme: Enlivening and Enhancing 25th Avenue NE
a. Ground level retail uses and enhancement of the pedestrian experience along 25th Avenue NE are the primary issues concerning the proposal.
b. UVillage has a proven track record in creating pedestrian experiences within the village and should be able to successfully create a viable pedestrian edge experience along 25th Avenue NE as well.
c. Traditional retail along the entire length of the west façade would likely not be viable, but some kinds of micro-retail could be — and the Board would be supportive of granting departures (e.g. shortened required depth) to help make it work.
d. Landscaping alone does not seem to be enough to overcome a less than enlivening pedestrian experience along this stretch of sidewalk.
e. One, two or three strategically designed retail spaces (connected to the bus stop and pedestrian entry/exit, for instance) might do the job; landscaping would not appear to be enough to enliven this long stretch of sidewalk.
f. Although, if the ground level is amazing, a boring upper can be forgiven, the design team was encouraged to explore further architectural expression of the upper levels as they related to the modern form of the building.
2. Theme: An Inviting Pedestrian Walkway through the Garage
a. This was a critical element for a successful overall design.
b. As shown, the elevators at the end of the pedestrian entry from 25th appeared to provide a wall rather than an invitation through the space. There needs to be something more exciting (and maybe more light and transparency) at the end of the walkway.
c. Provide clear wayfaring directions at the end of the passage.
3. Theme: Don’t Ignore Treatments of the North and South Faces of Garage
a. The cantilever along the north face a “missed opportunity” as shown.
b. The northwest corner needs more attention due to its visibility.
c. The “terracing” of the south face, as an acknowledgement to the new RH building, needs to be more explicit and convincing.
RBCA will continue to monitor the project and provide additional feedback, if needed. A pedestrian-friendly and safe neighborhood is important especially as our community continues to grow.
Last Saturday afternoon, this was the scene at NE 65th Street and 20th Avenue NE. An 80 year-old woman who was crossing the street was struck by a pick-up truck. She was taken to the hospital with serious head injuries.
Community members who follow Ravenna-Bryant Community Association and visit #Fix65th on Twitter, know that collisions on NE 65th Street are not uncommon. Last year, RBCA, the Roosevelt Neighborhood Association (RNA), and NE Seattle Greenways joined forces to form the #Fix65th Coalition to advocate for changes to the street to make it safer for all – pedestrians, bikers, and motorists.
Our voices have been heard! The Seattle Department of Transportation is launching a collaborative process to review street conditions along NE 65th Street. The process will be kicked off with a public forum on February 28 to talk with community members, share traffic and collision data, and collect feedback and input on how NE 65th Street is used and could be improved. RBCA encourages all of our neighbors who have concerns about the safety of NE 65th Street to participate in the forum and become involved in the process!
SPU is in the process of updating its Strategic Business Plan (SBP), the roadmap that guides investments and service levels. During the development of the original SBP, customers provided valuable feedback at focus groups, public meetings, and via online surveys. Now SPU is asking for community input to help to update the plan. How should SPU plan for the future? How can SPU improve service delivery? Attend a community meeting and tell SPU what you think! In NE Seattle:
February 4, 2017, 9 – 11 a.m.
Magnuson Park Community Center
7110 62nd Ave NE, Seattle, WA 98115
Chinese, Vietnamese, and Spanish-speaking interpreters will be present. Call (206) 684-3000 for questions or to make other language interpretation arrangements.
Sound Transit and the Roosevelt Neighborhood Association invite community members to an open house to discuss future development at the Roosevelt light rail station construction site. The open house will take place January 12, 5:30 to 8:30 p.m. at Roosevelt High School commons, 1410 NE 66th Street.
As the Roosevelt Station takes shape, the area used for construction adjacent to the future station will become available for transit oriented development (TOD). TOD usually involves a mix of housing and commercial uses that support the transit facility. Combining housing and commercial activity, clustered around and adjacent to the transit station, will make it easier for people to get around via transit, support local businesses, and contribute to neighborhood growth, making Roosevelt a better place to live, work, and spend time.
Sound Transit and the Roosevelt Neighborhood Association are eager to hear from community members. This meeting is an opportunity to comment on the type of housing, community amenities, and urban design features to be included in the future development of the site. To submit questions or comments to Sound Transit: RooseveltTOD@soundtransit.org or 206-398-5300.
Two Ravenna-Bryant Community Association board members attended the December 19 Seattle Design Review Board meeting to provide comments about University Village’s plan to build 100,000 square feet of commercial space and 915 parking spaces in a new garage. Comments were also shared with the Seattle Department of Construction and Inspections through the following letter.
December 19, 2016
Dear Mr. Dorcy,
The letter provides feedback on University Village’s western garage and retail expansion project on behalf of the Ravenna-Bryant Community Association (RBCA). Our primary concern is the size and scale of proposed western parking garage along 25th Avenue, and its potential impacts on street character and transportation. We are concerned about the impact of an approximately 350’ long garage along 25th with no retail frontage or any activation of any type along the street. The garage is also proposed to be seven (7) stories tall, which will shadow the street in the mornings, but with enough façade treatments (similar to the south garage), the visual impacts can hopefully be mitigated to some extent. We are also concerned that the elimination of the private drive (“47th Street”) will have traffic impacts that need to be mitigated and that the garage will further contribute to the light pollution. Our comments are summarized below, by category.
25th Avenue Streetscape
The western garage is the third large scale-parking garage proposed to be constructed on the property. The prior two have earned mixed reviews that are worth noting for context.
The northern garage turns its back (a 70-foot tall, 400-foot long CMU wall) to the neighborhood to the north, with only a modicum of attempt to screen the facility. There is no access through the garage for pedestrians arriving from 27th avenue to the north, so pedestrians must detour around this visually unappealing barrier to the mall.
The southern garage is visually appealing from the mall and the façade treatment when viewed from Montlake Boulevard from the south is fairly attractive for a giant parking garage. However, once again, there is little consideration for pedestrians arriving from the south (and from bus routes along Montlake). There should be a pedestrian entrance from the south the connects to the parking garage lobby, but instead there is only a small path around the structure to the west and no connecting pedestrian facilities connecting to the mall around the east side.
For this third garage, we hope that University Village will do more to provide physical connections to engage the neighborhood, but, at present, we believe that the structure will add a third barrier to the surrounding neighborhood. We appreciate that there is at least a pedestrian walkway planned through the building at the ground floor (across several lanes of ingress/egress traffic, however), but the overall plan once again focuses all the creative design inward and almost none outward. We hope that the Design Review Board will guide the design towards neighborhood engagement and creating a more vibrant 25th Avenue corridor. While this portion of 25th is not designated as a “Pedestrian” zone, we believe is seems reasonable for a major retail center adjacent to the state’s flagship university, and within biking distance of light rail, and located in a city purporting to seek carbon neutrality, to do more to encourage walking and biking. We believe that a thoughtful ground level design could create at least some retail and a generous pedestrian connection through the structure.
The Preferred Option eliminates the private street access know as 47th Street, which is replaced with an entrance to the parking garage. In concept, this takes cars directly from the arterial to the parking. This simplifies the internal circulation and could, theoretically reduce traffic internal to U-Village. However, drivers seeking to drop off or pick up shoppers, or access the QFC lot for easier access to the both QFC and U Village, will have only 49th Street as an option. This may create both a left hand turning queue from the north and a right-hand turn queue from the south. This will: 1) aggravate the dangerous situation that already exists with the adjacent curb cuts (49th and the Office Max access drive) and 2) combine with the planned monolithic western garage in further discouraging pedestrians from using 25th and taking some cars off the road. We would like for the project to study ways to improve the safety of turning movements to and from 25th to mitigate impact to pedestrians in support City goals for pedestrian safety. Second, we request that transportation mitigation funds from this expansion project be used to support pedestrian and bike access from adjacent neighborhoods that should be well within a walkshed for a major retail center but are not well utilized due to poor connections:
No sidewalks along streets like 50th and interrupted sidewalks along Blakely
Marginal pedestrian connections along Union Bay Place
No pedestrian connection to cross new main through access point at 49th.
Poor bike connection between the Burke Gilman trail and University Village from approximately Pend Oreille Road
No bike connection from the Burke Gilman east of the mall to along approximately 47th Street
We appreciate the Design Review Board’s Consideration. The RBCA Board would be happy to meet and discuss this matter further with the City of Seattle and the applicant, as possible.
A year ago, the RBCA board of directors adopted a vision statement: Ravenna-Bryant is a welcoming, thriving, safe, diverse, and connected neighborhood. This statement of shared values now guides the work we do. When the RBCA board considers actions, we ask ourselves if what is being considered will contribute to our vision. Our neighborhood is growing, with many changes coming in the next few years. It’s important that no matter how each of us feels about these changes, we look for the common ground of our shared vision.
Annual meeting: In the spring, RBCA hosts an annual membership meeting. (Anyone who lives or works in the Ravenna and Bryant neighborhoods is a member.) In May, RBCA’s annual meeting focused on the Mayor’s Housing Affordability and Livability Agenda, known as HALA. Other organizations, including the Seattle Department of Transportation, the University of Washington, and Seattle Parks and Recreation, were on hand to provide information and answer questions. The main presentation was about HALA’s Mandatory Housing Affordability policy and most of the concerns expressed by our neighbors were about maintaining and establishing affordable housing in Ravenna-Bryant.
Support for housing levy: Listening to what we heard from community members who participated in the annual meeting, the RBCA board voted to endorse the renewal and expansion of the Seattle Housing Levy. RBCA was the first neighborhood association in Seattle to publicly support the levy.
Mobility survey: During most community meetings about changes to our neighborhood and surrounding neighborhoods, conversations often include issues about parking, motor vehicle traffic, and pedestrian and biker safety. To develop a plan for addressing the most pressing mobility-related issues in Ravenna-Bryant, the RBCA board conducted an online survey to supplement comments collected during meetings and informal conversations with neighbors.
Results were used to develop a Mobility Safety Action Plan. While many mobility safety issues impact all of us, with limited resources RBCA chose those which are of most concern to people. Pedestrian safety, especially along NE 65th Street, was the most commonly identified problem. Speeding motor vehicles on all of our arterial roads was a common complaint expressed by neighbors who drive, bike, and walk.
Throughout the rest of the year, the #Fix65th coalition advocated for funding for a study through Twitter, testimony before the City Council’s Transportation Committee, and meetings with District 4 Councilmember Rob Johnson. In December, CM Johnson announced that our message was heard and funding for a study of NE 65th Street is included in the 2017 city budget!
Re-activated Emergency Preparedness Committee: After several years on hiatus, a new RBCA board member re-activated the RBCA’s committee focusing on emergency preparedness. The committee is sending out “A Task A Month” emails to community members through the RBCA email list encouraging everyone to be ready for a natural disaster.
Advocacy for NE 50th Street sidewalks: Considering the street provides a connection between Ravenna-Bryant and University Village, no sidewalks along NE 50th Street south of the cemetery makes it dangerous for pedestrians. A long-standing RBCA project, advocacy efforts paid off when U-Village asked SDOT to earmark mitigation dollars (associated with building the new space for Restoration Hardware) to go toward sidewalks on NE 50th Street. However, SDOT estimated that the funds would only cover half of the costs for putting in a sidewalk between 30th and 35th Avenues NE.
University Village design review comments: University Village released expansion plans which include a large parking garage on 25th Avenue NE. RBCA board members attended the December design review board meeting and asked that the building include outward-facing (toward 25th Avenue) retail to create a more pedestrian-friendly and engaging environment. With the University of Washington planning more student housing north of U-Village and developing the parking lots south of U-Village, and with light rail a mile from the mall, people walking through the area will increase in the near future. This will especially be true as motor vehicle traffic on Montlake becomes increasingly congested.
RBCA board membership: In 2016, we added 3 neighbors to the RBCA board. Our board membership is now at 14, just shy of the 15 spots available.
The RBCA board is looking forward to another year filled with activities to make our vision a reality.
More opportunities to become prepared for an emergency: The Emergency Preparedness Committee is currently planning to host community meetings the third Tuesday of January, February, and March about preparing a block, many blocks, and our region for a natural disaster. On April 18, the RBCA annual meeting will focus on emergency preparedness.
Continued implementation of the Mobility Safety Action Plan: RBCA will continue to partner with RNA and NE Seattle Greenways to educate community members about safety improvements and advocate for road design changes proven to reduce collisions that hurt drivers, bikers, and walkers. We will continue to advocate for sidewalks where there are none.
Improved RBCA operations: Two task forces were formed in December to review and update bylaws and to develop a formal community outreach plan. Both task forces have an overarching goal of increasing contributions of people who bring diverse points of view to discussions and actions.
Continued forum for land use changes: As land use policies change in Seattle, RBCA will continue to monitor and educate neighbors about the ones affecting Ravenna-Bryant. We will continue to provide public comment about projects that impact our community.
A note about changes to the Department of Neighborhoods outreach activities: This past year was a somewhat tumultuous one for some neighborhood-based groups. The Mayor issued an executive order changing financial and staffing support that used to only support district councils, including the NE District Council. While RBCA is a member of the NE District Council, we are not losing funding (we did not receive any) and we will continue to reach out to and work with City staff, when needed, as we always have.
An open invitation to all Ravenna-Bryant community members: RBCA activities reflect individual board member’s interests. For example, in 2016 the Emergency Preparedness Committee came out of hiatus because a new board member is interested in the topic. Another board member is passionate about making NE 65th Street a safer place for everyone and, therefore, we partnered with other organizations to form the #Fix65th Coalition. RBCA is always looking for people who are passionate about making a positive impact. If you want to work toward the realization of the RBCA vision, please consider participating in an upcoming board meeting and working with others who want to, as well! We meet the first Tuesday of every month except August, 6:30 p.m., at the Ravenna-Eckstein Community Center. Please join us!
A message from Mary Amberg, the Seattle Police Department North Precinct’s Crime Prevention Coordinator:
We are at a time of year when we see an increase in package thefts from homes. Some package thieves will follow or watch for delivery trucks and then target a home after a delivery is made. Other thieves may just happen to see the package left at the doorstep of the home, in plain view of the street, and help themselves.
To reduce the opportunity for packages to be left unattended on your porch, we encourage you to communicate with the carrier and request one of the following delivery options:
Track your shipment: All of the major delivery companies offer package tracking, some providing free alerts letting you know where your package is in the shipping process.
Have items delivered to your place of business rather than your home.
Require a signature upon delivery.
Pick up items from the carrier’s local hub.
Ask the delivery service to hold your package for customer pick-up at their local facility.
Request the package be left with a trusted neighbor who has agreed to accept the package for you.
Arrange for the package to be shipped to another location where someone can receive it. This could be the leasing office at your apartment complex or even the local “mailbox” business that may agree to accept shipment of your item for a fee.
If none of the above are viable options, at the very least request the package be placed in a discrete location not visible from the street.
The SPD Crime Prevention Coordinator’s can help with:
Setting up a Block Watch for your block.
Talking about ongoing crime problems and working to resolve crime on your block.
Setting up a “Block Tour” so everyone understands problems specific to your immediate neighborhood.
The Roosevelt Neighborhood Association (RNA) is hosting, and RBCA is co-facilitating, a community-driven workshop to discuss the City of Seattle’s Housing Affordability & Livability Agenda (HALA).The Meeting will be held at 10:00 a.m. at the Calvary Christian Church at 6801 Roosevelt Way.The meeting will primarily on proposed land use changes within and around the Roosevelt Urban Village, which includes a portion of the Ravenna-Bryant neighborhood east of 15th Avenue NE. In addition, the meeting will address other aspects of HALA that address housing affordability in both neighborhoods.
Goals for the meeting are to:
·Bring members of the Roosevelt and Ravenna-Bryant neighborhoods together to develop awareness of the City of Seattle HALA Report.
·Provide an opportunity for these neighbors to provide feedback on issues that are important in the Roosevelt and Ravenna-Bryant neighborhoods regarding HALA & potential zoning changes and solicit constructive ideas from the community.
The Friends of Sand Point Magnuson Park Historic District invite community members to hear remembrances from six elders, three women and three men, about Pearl Harbor Day and its impact on their lives. Four are local community members: Marie Cribley-Horsley who was at Pearl Harbor; JW Roundhill and Jerry Sheller who were in WWII; and Mary Johnson who was a UW student at the time.
12:00 p.m.: Flag changing ceremony at the flag pole inside the main entry of Magnuson Park
12:30 p.m.: Cookies and coffee at Sand Point Methodist Church
The Department of Neighborhoods will host a conversation about proposed zoning changes to NE Seattle neighborhoods related to the Mayor’s Housing Affordability & Livability Agenda (HALA) and the implementation of the recently-adopted Mandatory Housing Affordability (MHA) program. Maps of the Fremont, Green Lake – Roosevelt, Lake City, Northgate, Upper Queen Anne, and Wallingford Urban Villages will be shared.
A message from the State Route 520 Bridge Replacement and HOV Project:
We would like to invite you to join the next West Approach Bridge North (WABN) monthly public meeting on December 7. Along with updates about current and upcoming WABN construction activities, we will also provide a presentation and opportunity to learn more about the next phase of SR 520 construction, known as the Montlake Phase. This phase is scheduled to begin in 2018 and includes the Montlake lid and land bridge.
Date: Wednesday, December 7
Time: 5:30-6:30 p.m.
Location: Graham Visitors Center, 2300 Arboretum Drive E
Councilmember Sally Bagshaw will host the event as 240 silhouettes are distributed representing people who died on Seattle streets in traffic over the past 10 years and highlight the need for safe streets.